District Creates Public Data Dashboard
November 10, 2016
November 10, 2016
At the Anchorage School Board’s direction, the District created a public dashboard featuring data on student academic status, attendance, on track for graduation, and behavior/discipline.
“The dashboard should be seen as a flashlight, not a hammer. It will illuminate areas in which we can improve,” said Tam Agosti-Gisler, Anchorage School Board President.
President Agosti-Gisler encouraged community members to join ASD in using the dashboard for the various ways they are working to support and improve education in our community.
Superintendent Deena Paramo said the Data Dashboard is a high-level tool to provide transparency and help guide the District.
“We need to ensure a good education happens for everyone, not just some students,” said Dr. Paramo. “We use the dashboard to help guide us to see where we’re going. We’re not going to stay here and admire any problems we find. We are looking to the future and moving forward to help every student succeed.”
Dr. Paramo stressed the dashboard is not a “gotcha” for educators.
“A number is only a number. That one number, or even several numbers, will never define a child. Numbers will guide us but they will not define who we are. Without all of the pieces of information, we don’t know what we have.”
Dr. Paramo said the data will leave many questioning, “Now what?”
She said data affords us the opportunity to ask questions and create a plan to move us to where we want to be. It gives school staff the ability to talk about student groups and outcomes with data that haven’t been easily accessible before now. These conversations will help improve academic outcomes for all students.
“You do what you know, and when you know better, you do better,” said Dr. Paramo.
She acknowledged that the data can be uncomfortable but stressed both school staff and community leaders want the same outcomes.
At a recent community meeting about the dashboard, Dr. Paramo asked principals and the community to challenge and support every student in order to create better experiences and outcomes.
“These data provided in the dashboard already existed on various platforms.ASD staff took the data that was already there and put it together so we collectively – staff, students, families and the community – can work together,” said Dr. Paramo.
“We want a health community, where students earn a diploma which will lead to a career with a livable wage so they can each live a happy life. We want them to live, work, play, and stay in Anchorage.”
The dashboard is available at www.asdk12.org/data.
Data available in the public dashboard is suppressed where necessary to prevent individual student identification.